The Initial Launchpad for Shiny Ideas

by Sean Weiner

How do I surgically extract this idea from my brain and turn it into a film?

Everyone’s a comedian… and also a filmmaker. We live in NYC. It’s to be expected.

Yet, for all the creative pontificating your peers do, very few of them ever follow through on producing something. I’ve spent the past 10 years making, making, then stopping and making something else. I even went as far as releasing a video every week of a calendar year (when I barely understood how to use a camera). Producing something is more than half the battle.

That’s where this workshop came from. A lot of folks need that initial launchpad. Workshopping Your Pitch looks to provide you with some grease for the gears by fostering a space to unpack that shiny idea and leverage the earliest stage in preproduction.

Parallel to this peer-to-peer experience is more formal guidance in how to develop a pitch, logline, synopsis, treatment, and (perhaps, most importantly) how to talk about your project (both formally and informally). To boot, I pull upon my own experience at places like UCB and in executive meetings with folks over at NBC and package that into a series of helpful anecdotes.

We’re in a new evolutionary stage in making media. So much of how we make things is collaborative and this workshop looks to capitalize on that. The cost of productions has dropped and the amount of productions has skyrocketed. Yet, still somehow, certain works transcend beyond your mom and dad and few supportive friends and make a mark. A lot of that comes from making work you’re excited about while navigating these new paths with a new map.


Sean Weiner is a New York-based director, DP and editor. His first feature, the improvisational We Are Strangers, premiered as part of Newfilmakers NY in Spring of 2014. Sean is a director of the Upright Citizen Brigade’s own Web Series team, Brinkman who specialize in comedic narratives where the dumb meets the dark. He is also a lead creative in the Private Cabin Collective, a lecturer in Purchase College’s School of Film and Media Studies. and Senior Faculty and Program and Curriculum Developer at the Jacob Burns Film Center.